Talk:Suburban Express

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Links related to 2013 Controversy[edit]

Here is a list of articles about Suburban Express and it's controversies. I'm creating a section for it so others can contribute - please don't delete from it, though. It was started by AlmostGrad and moved to it's own section by NegatedVoid.

Most of these links are between April 2013 and August 2013 and cover one WP:Event or a cluster of events that got linked to each other. Then there's a group of "year in review" cluster around New Year's 2014 which recap the April-to-August 2013 events. The news gap is about a year (August 2013 to August 2014). I have moved the clusters from August 2014 and later to a new sectionKevinCuddeback (talk) 21:30, 8 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. (05/02/2013): Le pouvoir des masses numériques, pour le meilleur et pour le pire (Translation)
  2. China News (10/14/2013): 赴美留学:行前需多了解当地生活细节避免被骗 (Translation)
    Syndicated to: and


  1. Ars Technica (04/26/2013): Express to Internet Hate: Bus company threatens redditor with lawsuit
  2. BoingBoing (04/27/2013): Suburban Express bus-line sends bullying, cowardly legal threat to Reddit, discovers Streisand Effect
  3. Popehat (04/28/2013): Suburban Express Took The First Bus To The Streisand Effect. Have They Disembarked In Time?
  4. Techdirt (04/29/2013): Bus Company Threatens Redditor With Lawsuit, Meets Ken White, Runs Away
  5. The Daily Dot (04/29/2013): Bus Company Threatens to Sue Redditor Over Bad Press
  6. Chicago Tribune (05/01/2013): Bus company's lawsuits anger students, parents
  7. Ars Technica (05/02/2013): Nonstop to schadenfreude: Suburban Express’ u-turn on reddit lawsuit
  8. American Bar Association Journal (05/03/2013): Cheap bus ticket included a trip to small-claims court for unwary students
  9. Slashdot (05/04/2013): Redditors (and Popehat) Versus a Bus Company
  10. Ars Technica (05/13/2013): Troll road: Bus company posts “dirt” on complaining passenger
  11. Techdirt (05/17/2013): Suburban Express Goes Double Or Nothing On Their Aggressive Behavior
  12. Ars Technica (06/19/2013): Bus company that threatened redditor with lawsuit tries to reopen suits
  13. Techdirt (06/24/2013): Suburban Express Wants Round 3: Re-Files Against Customers
  14. Ars Technica (06/25/2013): Bus co. owner threatens redditor yet again, records users’ IP addresses
  15. Uproxx (06/26/2013): Meet Suburban Express, The Bus Line Fighting A War With Reddit Over Negative Comments
  16. Popehat (07/29/2013): The Popehat Signal: Suburban Express Doubles Down On Attacks On Critics
  17. Techdirt (07/31/2013): The Popehat Signal Goes Out Against Suburban Express
  18. Courthouse News Service (01/10/2014): Just a Darn Minute, AT&T


  1. The Daily Illini (04/19/2013): Suburban Express lawsuits lead to controversy on social media
  2. The Daily Illini (Editorial) (04/24/2013): Suburban Express mishandles student allegations
  3. Paxton Record (04/25/2013): Bus company suing UI students for violating 'terms and conditions'
  4. The Daily Illini (04/25/2013): Public addresses Illinois Student Senate regarding influx of student-aimed Suburban Express lawsuits
  5. The Daily Illini (Opinion Column) (04/25/2013): Suburban Express causes its own problems
  6. The Daily Illini (Letter to the Editor) (04/25/2013): UI should defend international students, disallow Suburban Express services
  7. The News Gazette (04/26/2013): Bus firm's lawsuits criticized
  8. The Daily Illini (04/26/2013): Suburban Express lawsuits reach 125 this year; conversation continues on Reddit
  9. Paxton Record (04/29/2013): After backlash, bus firm pledges to dismiss all suits
  10. The News Gazette (04/30/2013): Bus company promises to drop Ford lawsuits
  11. WILL News (04/30/2013): Bus Company Serving College Students Drops Lawsuits Against Riders
  12. The News Gazette (05/01/2013): Bus lawsuits dismissed in Ford County
  13. Paxton Record (05/01/2013): Suburban Express lawsuits dropped
  14. The Daily Illini (05/01/2013): Suburban Express drops lawsuits and updates terms and conditions
  15. WCIA 3 News (05/01/2013): Bus company drops civil suits against students
  16. The Daily Illini (05/02/2013): UIUC Subreddit hits front page, Streisand effect leads to increased attention for Suburban Express lawsuits
  17. Kankakee Daily Journal (05/02/2013): Bus company drops lawsuits in Ford County against college student riders
  18. The Daily Illini (Editorial) (05/02/2013): University administrators absent in Suburban Express incidences
  19. Paxton Record (06/25/2013): Suburban Express wants to refile some of its cases
  20. The News Gazette (06/26/2013): Bus company wants to reinstate some lawsuits
  21. The Daily Illini (06/27/2013): Suburban Express lawsuits not gone for good
  22. WCIA 3 News (06/27/2013): Bus co. owner may refile lawsuits
  23. Paxton Record (07/30/2013): Judge grants motion to allow Suburban Express cases to be refiled
  24. News Gazette (07/30/2013): Judge allows bus company to refile some claims against passengers
  25. WCIA 3 News (07/30/2013): Bus owner in court
  26. The Daily Illini (08/21/2013): Assessing this year's most important events
  27. Paxton Record (12/31/2013): Memorable quotes from 2013 ...
  28. Paxton Record (12/31/2013): Most-viewed posts on Paxton Record's Facebook page in 2013
  29. Paxton Record (01/01/2014): The Paxton Record's Top 10 stories of 2013

Links related to 2014 & 2015 Controversies[edit]

Created this to hold links identified July 2014 and later by AlmostGrad and grouped by NegatedVoid which address a different cluster of events from (though thematically similar to) the April-August 2013 list, and to allow it to age-before-archiving on a different schedule.KevinCuddeback (talk) 21:30, 8 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. Ars Technica (07/10/2014): Update: Bus co. owner who threatened redditor with lawsuit arrested for cyberstalking
  2. Techdirt (07/14/2014): Dennis Toeppen Arrested For Harassing Online Critics And Being Creepy As Hell
  3. Chicago Tribune (08/06/2014): Bus firm owner charged with harassing customers
  4. RedEye (08/06/2014): Bus firm owner charged with harassing customers
  5. Techdirt (09/05/2014): Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped
  6. Ars Technica (02/06/2015): All aboard the dox bus! Suburban Express owner keeps going after customers
  7. Techdirt (03/04/2015): Suburban Express Changes Terms Of Service To Screw Sued College Students Out Of University-Provided Legal Aid


  1. News Gazette (07/16/2014): Bus company owner charged with online harassment
  2. Paxton Record (07/16/2014): Bus company owner charged with online harassment
  3. The Daily Illini (08/22/2014): Suburban Express lawsuits reappear in Cook County
  4. WILL (AM) Radio (09/03/2014): A Look At Legal Issues Surrounding Terms Of Service, Online Reviews, and Online Harassment
  5. The Daily Illini (09/11/2014): Suburban Express won’t take Highland Park passengers
  6. The Daily Illini (12/16/2014): Suburban Express re-files lawsuits, bans Highland Park passengers
  7. Smile Politely (02/04/2015): Suburban Express posts racist story about U of I grad student
  8. WCIA 3 News (02/05/2015): Area business responds to "real" review
  9. Smile Politely (02/22/2015): Suburban Express is at it again, this time with "Black Sheep Discount"
  10. WCIA 3 News (02/23/2015): Business feuds with campus paper
  11. The Daily Illini (02/25/2015): Student Legal Services helps students fight Suburban Express lawsuits
  12. The Daily Illini (Editorial) (02/26/2015): Inhibiting ability to "Express" poses problems

Conventional Media Links Not Related to WP:EVENT Above[edit]

Daily Herald[edit]

  1. Daily Herald Release:
  2. Daily Herald Article re: Fare Wars
  3. Daily Herald Article re: University of Iowa Service


  1. News-Gazette release:
  2. News-Gazette article re: Go Suburban - leave the driving to the entrepreneur:

Daily Illini[edit]

  1. Daily Illini release:
  2. Daily Illini article re: New cut-rate bus service:
  3. Daily Illini article re: Illini Union Board budget matters - Greyhound commissions down by $15k (Translates to $150k sales decrease)
  4. Daily Illini article re: Greyhound Predatory Pricing:
  5. Daily Illini article re: Suburban Express using novel method to pursue cheaters:
  6. Daily Illini letter to editor re: Bad checks article:
  7. Daily Illini article re: Students who thought they could do better...
  8. Daily Illini article re: ...but who arguably failed:
  9. Daily Illini article re: Page of Shame

Restored links deleted by bot (talk) 03:12, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

I found these newspaper articles from the 1980s and 1990s to be helpful in bringing out the notable monopoly/price-war/predatory-pricing aspects of the immediate "post-deregulation" era. As stated in earlier votes/discussions of the notability of Suburban Express (whether to have an article or not at all), price-and-capacity "wars" were new and notable in the USA "back then". KevinCuddeback (talk) 15:29, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Subject's Self-Published Sources (from[edit]

Because the subject itself can be the source, some historical Suburban Express web pages from the Internet Archives, as suggested, should be referenced because they make un-exceptional claims about the "starts" of things along the company growth-path (usually +/- weeks, and near-always within 1 semester). It would be entirely "in character" for a bus company to accurately describe its services as-then-offered, and out of character to describe a phantom service.

I agree with the basic premise above; such sources can be used to support basic claims and data about the company and its products. I work a good bit on spaceflight-related articles and such sources are typically what we use to source the basic specs of launch vehicles and spacecraft. I'm agnostic on the specifics of the following list. Cheers. N2e (talk) 15:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
So far, I have used these to support the start-year of kiosk ticketing (I selected 2002, as the "official" start, rather than the 2001 "trial") and service to University of Iowa.KevinCuddeback (talk) 16:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. 1983 Brochure with self-headline of "Thanksgiving Express" (02/10/2003): Thanksgiving Express!
  2. (still, sadly, a 15-year gap here)
  3. 1998 website launch: (12/12/1998): Suburban Express Home Page
  4. 2001 Introduction of self-service ticket kiosks (06/07/2001): Self-Service Ticketing
  5. 2002 First offer of O'Hare/Midway service (connecting only) (04/07/2002): O'Hare & Midway Service
  6. 2003 9 buses in company-owned fleet (02/10/2003): Some Trivia...
  7. 2004 Illini shuttle "Beginning October 6" & first functional (09/24/2004): Illini Shuttle - O'Hare & Midway Schedules
  8. 2004 Illini shuttle "Now Up and Running" (10/16/2004): Illini Shuttle - O'Hare & Midway Schedules
  9. 2007 UIowa gets "Introductory" fares extended (2/9/2007): uiowaspring07.pdf
  10. 2010 First Free Wi-Fi claim (on 13 buses) (03/05/2010): Suburban Express (index UIUC)
  11. 2010 at least 13 buses in company-owned fleetbased on Wi-Fi claim (above)
  12. 2010 Service to Perdue "resumes" in August (08/20/2010) : Suburban Express (index UIUC)
  13. 2010 Wi-Fi fleet claimed +2 to 15 buses (09/19/2010): Suburban Express (index UIUC)
  14. 2010 at least 15 buses in company-owned fleetbased on Wi-Fi claim (above)
  15. 2011 Claims 55,000 passengers per year (7/16/2011): Some Trivia...
  16. 2012 "Now Serving Joliet" on Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays (02/09/2012): Suburban Express (index UIUC)

Can anyone who knows how to use see if there's an "introductory" for other current schools? KevinCuddeback (talk) 16:06, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

BTW, the article is about the company, Suburban Express, and thus Suburban Express is the subject of the article. I believe you meant the founder or company head dude by whatever title he might go by. If you agree, you might want to modify the title of this particular Talk page section. Cheers. N2e (talk) 22:03, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd say this talk section is correctly titled: It covers materials in which the subject of this article, Suburban Express, talks about itself as author/publisher of its own website ( (talk) 03:43, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Why Monopoly properly describes Greyhound's pre-Suburban Express market position[edit]

There is some dispute about whether it is appropriate to refer to Greyhound's service in the 1980's as a "monopoly" (and Suburban Express as a monopoly-breaker). It's generally accepted that for a company to have a monopoly, there must be high barriers to entry for new firms and the product or service being supplied must have no close substitutes. There were not any unusual barriers to entry in the bus market and I would maintain that there were close substitutes (although this second point may be disputed).

Examples of substitute goods could include train travel or possibly automobiles/carpooling. It could be argued how "close" other forms of transportation really are to bus service.

In the article's current form, it says, "Dennis Toeppen, then a 19-year-old student at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), and later Suburban Express' founder, chartered 6 buses, sold tickets through a local travel agent, spent $600 on advertising, and undercut Greyhound's fares by $4 to $8." This makes it pretty clear that there could not have been significant barriers to entry in the market. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CS1494 (talkcontribs) 15:32, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

See below. There were high barriers to entry for new bus companies (whole, sourced, list below) and no source says there were any close substitutes for direct trips from UIUC to stations in/near Chicago. KevinCuddeback (talk) 13:08, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Monopolies are rare today, and many editors repeatedly attempt to downplay or remove the sourced fact that Greyhound operated a bus monopoly between UIUC and Chicago before Suburban Express (and its predecessor firms) entered the market. But the reality is that Monopolies *did* exist, and were particularly entrenched in transportation prior to the deregulation acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s (when Suburban Express was founded).

  • From 1935 onward, thanks to the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 the Interstate Commerce Commission had jurisdiction over interstate bus lines, and for a carrier to enter the market, they needed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (permission to enter a market), something that the ICC was reluctant to grant in markets (like UIUC) that were thought too small to support competition. (and if Greyhound wanted to keep out a competitor, they could extend a bus across state lines to ensure ICC protection). Buses were technically deregulated in 1980 with the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 but the reality is that competitors were slow to arise and poorly financed (buses were assumed to be a losing business). The reality was, that until Suburban Express' predecessors started, Greyhound used its legacy of de jure monopoly to enforece a de facto monopoly.
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission similarly required bus carriers to obtain Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before they would be permitted to compete with other, incumbent Carriers. In fact, as the sources in the article say, this was Greyhound's primary basis for seeking to legally defend its Illinois-granted monopoly: Greyhound maintained that Suburban Express needed to obtain permission from Illinois before it could break Greyhound's monopoly. You see in the Fare Wars source that "THE FIRST [Illinois action brought by Greyhound], in the spring of 1984, found the service was improperly operating as a regular operation without [Illinois]CC approval and regulation. Toeppen changed his service, officially making it a private charter service limited to university students and faculty so it would not be under the jurisdiction of the ICC."
  • Greyhound itself enforced its monopoly by its control over most of the USA's bus terminals and ticketing. As the owner of "the" bus terminal in most towns, it used its power as landlord to control other bus companies' access to the market. In the period immediately after federal deregulation, this was one way Greyhound maintained its monopolies: by refusing terminal space to competitors (see [[1]]), after terminating the terminal agreements, Greyhound still demanded that only it could be the seller of tickets within 25 miles of its terminals.
  • UIUC itself, because it got a generous commission on Greyhound tickets, refused to permit Suburban Express to sell tickets on campus. The inflated prices were used to subsidize other campus activities. See in the Fare Wars source where it says "UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS said they did not want to sell both types of tickets because they feared Greyhound would not approve and would dump the university as a ticket agent, meaning less ticket revenue for the university.

'We need to make a certain amount from ticket sales to contribute to (student programming)," said Jeff Sheets, manager of the travel center. "We were concerned about(Greyhound's) reaction.'"

  • Greyhound further engaged in predatory pricing, as monopolist do when defending their dominant market position, by pricing below costs on a specific route to punish/discourage a competitor. Objectively, from an economic standpoint, this is what happened. Sources tell us though, rather than admit this legally, Greyhound agreed to raise its prices rather than have the Illinois Commerce Commission suit by Suburban Express come to an official finding.

These 4 forces (Federal history/inertia, Illinois regulation, Greyhound control terminals, ticketing (and below cost pricing), and UIUC's enforcement of a ticket-sales exclusivity) all worked together to ensure that Greyhound had a monopoly in the fullest sense of that word. KevinCuddeback (talk) 21:15, 8 May 2015 (UTC) (restored from archive KevinCuddeback (talk) 12:59, 11 January 2016 (UTC))

Are there any reliable independent references that make the "monopoly" claim? Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:28, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
The Daily Herald article known as source "farewars" (by this Dan Rozek?) uses the word "Monopoly" and describes all of the anti-competitive practices of UIUC (ticket-sales exclusivity/disallowing Suburban Express marketing) and Greyhound (bringing two Illinois Commerce Commission cases to enforce its Illinois-granted exclusive intrastate license (first time Greyhound won that monopoly back, second time Suburban Express won). Read the article in its entirely. It describes in great detail the barriers to entry (including that after losing regulatorily, Greyhound then engaged in predatory pricing ('zactly what it looks like, though they never admitted it), another monopolization tactic). Greyhound pretty much maps one-to-one to the list in Monopoly#Sources_of_monopoly_power KevinCuddeback Short of finding it in a peer-reviewed economics journal, I don't see how there could be a finer neutral, detailed collection using the word monopoly and backing it up with facts and quotes from all relevant participants at the time, (talk) 15:53, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps to clarify things a good deal. (It doesn't matter if you or I think the conditions for a monopoly are met, only if references do.) I'm not sure one reference is enough to present that as an unattributed statement of fact in our own voice, but I think it does merit mention in the article that they were referred to as such. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:34, 11 January 2016 (UTC)